New terror laws 'nothing like as dramatic' as proposed

New anti-terror laws are "not as dramatic" as proposed the reviewer of terror legislation has said.

David Anderson QC said some of the powers to stop British jihadists returning from Iraq and Syria were ill-thought out and would not work in practice.

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New terror laws 'nothing as dramatic' as proposed

New measures include confiscating passports. Credit: PA

New anti-terror laws are "nothing like as dramatic" as proposed earlier this year, the reviewer of terror legislation has said.

David Anderson QC claimed some of the powers to stop British jihadists returning from Iraq and Syria were ill-thought out and would not work in practice.

He told the Joint Committee on Human Rights: "My understanding is that somebody who is seeking to fly home may be presented with an order at the check-in desk and told 'you are more than welcome to come home.'

"But when you come home you will have to comply with certain obligations' and those are the obligations in the order.

"Now, no doubt there will be cases about whether that is lawful, but certainly in terms of restricting the right of abode, it is nothing like as dramatic as what appeared to be originally proposed."

Home Secretary Theresa May will publish the details of the measures later in a new Counter-terrorism and Security Bill.

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New powers are 'essential to keep up with terror threat'

Theresa May will unveil the plans in parliament later. Credit: PA

The Home Secretary has said new powers being pushed through parliament today are "essential to keep up with the serious and rapidly changing terror threats we face".

Theresa May said it could never be completely eradicated from society "but we must do everything possible in line with our shared values to reduce the risks posed by our enemies."

She added: "This bill includes a considered, targeted set of proposals that will help to keep us safe at a time of very significant danger by ensuring we have the powers we need to defend ourselves."

Theresa May to unveil new counter-terror laws

Home Secretary Theresa May is to unveil a new package of counter-terror laws later today.

The Counter-terrorism and Security Bill will contain a range of powers aimed at stopping would-be terrorists being drawn into extremism.

They new legislation will include:

  • A statutory duty on organisations - such as colleges, universities, the police and probation providers - to help deter radicalisation. If they fail, ministers will be able to issue court-enforced directions to them.
  • Police will be handed new powers to force internet firms to hand over details that could help identify suspected terrorists and paedophiles.
  • Suspected foreign fighters will be blocked from returning to the UK.
  • Police and border staff will be given the power to seize the passports of terror suspects.
  • Insurance companies will be banned from footing the bill for terrorist ransoms.
  • Powers will be re-introduced to relocate terror suspects across the country.
  • Those found at risk of radicalisation will be offered support through the "Channel" process, which involves several agencies working to give individuals access to services such as health, education, specialist mentoring and diversionary activities.

Commuters urged to vigilant as terror threat level rises

Commuters across the UK are being urged to look out for anything suspicious after the terror threat level was raised to severe, a transport police chief said.

Chief Constable of the British Transport Police Paul Crowther told Good Morning Britain the transport network was a likely target and to contact them if they spotted anything out of the ordinary.

Ministers believe we face 'unprecedented' terror threat

Ministers believe Islamic State, and other radical groups, present an unprecedented threat on home soil. That has prompted the unveiling of wide-ranging powers to counter it.

Radicalisation itself would be challenged in schools and colleges while suspects' ability to leave and re-enter the country would be disrupted.

The Home Secretary wants a new Counter-terrorism and Security Bill fast-tracked through Parliament. But Lib Dem and Labour doubts over the communications aspect of the package will make it a contentious, pre-election issue.

ITV News UK editor Rohit Kachroo reports:

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  1. Rohit Kachroo

'Pop-up terror attacks' now greater risk to UK

Lee Rigby was mown down and stabbed in the street in May last year. Credit: ITV News

So-called 'pop-up' terror attacks, like the one on soldier Lee Rigby, now pose a greater risk to the UK than organised plots like 7/7.

Smaller, less organised attacks, where a few people, or even a single individual is targeted, show the nature of terror attacks is changing.

What went wrong in the Rigby case will be revealed in a report due out tomorrow.

Serious questions will be raised about what the police and intelligence services did and didn't do, and what they might have to do in the future to stop such attacks before they happen.

Human rights groups blast new terror laws

Human rights groups have branded new terror laws going through parliament this week as "a recipe for injustice".

Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said: "Yet again politicians resort to high talk and rushed legislation in an attempt to look tough in the face of terrorism.

"So youngsters will have their passports seized at borders and others will be prevented coming home. Even our universities must read from ministers' scripts on radicalisation.

"Another chilling recipe for injustice and resentment by closing down the open society you seek to promote."

Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, added Theresa May's speech had "highlighted that the 'snoopers' charter' was anything but dead and buried."

May unveils new anti-radicalisation laws

Schools, prisons and councils will be required by law to crackdown on terrorism or face a court order, the Home Secretary has announced.

Theresa May said measures to be put in place included extremist speaker policies in universities.

If organisations fail in their statutory duty "ministers will be able to issue directions to them, which will be enforceable by court order", she added.

New legislation will also ban insurance companies from footing the bill for terrorist ransoms.

And Terrorism Prevention and Investigations Measures (TPims) will be strengthened to re-introduce powers to relocate terror suspects around the country.

Since April 2010, 753 people have been arrested for terrorism-related offences, 212 have been charged and 148 have been successfully prosecuted.

A total of 138 people have been jailed for terror offences while 13, including hook-handed radical cleric Abu Hamza, have been extradited. A further 84 "hate preachers" have been excluded.

'Around 40 terror plots in Britain foiled since 7/7'

Home Secretary Theresa May.

Around 40 terror plots to attack Britain have been foiled since 7/7, the Home Secretary revealed today.

Theresa May said plans to stage a Mumbai-style atrocity, blow up the London Stock Exchange, bring down airliners and assassinate a British ambassador were among those stopped by the police and intelligence services.

But she added: "As the IRA once boasted, the terrorists only have to be lucky once."

Launching the start of Counter Terrorism Awareness Week, Ms May described IS as "one of the most serious threats we face" but said is not the only terror group Britain is at risk from.

She said: "This is a struggle which is being fought on many fronts and in many forms. It is a struggle that will go on for many years.

"And the threat we face right now is perhaps greater than it ever has been - we must have the powers we need to defend ourselves."

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